Finding landmarks in a wilderness

So why call this site Landmarks?  It’s time to tell that story.  This summer I went with a my friend, Daniel, and seven young men on a fishing adventure in the Quetico wilderness of Ontario.  We were given four canoes, supplies, a map of the lakes, and a projected 6-day journey drawn on it.  In this wilderness, nothing is marked.  So the only marks you have are the landmarks.  We would find a point of land on the map, site it ahead, and start canoeing.  Usually it worked.  But one day, the canoes got separated.

I was in a canoe that missed a crucial landmark to turn up a creek.  After being confused for awhile, we corrected ourselves and canoed back against the current to the creek.  Daniel, in a canoe much further behind, thought we had not corrected ourselves, panicked, and madly canoed up the creek to catch the others.  He didn’t know what he was going to do.  He just knew he had to find everyone else.  Relief came suddenly when he saw us with the rest of the group.  But the lesson was clear…missing a landmark in this wilderness could be a costly, painful error.

My journey to become the man God intends for me to be has been a long and winding journey.  Part of my struggle for so long was that I had no landmarks, defined places of the heart towards which I needed to paddle.  So much of my inner life felt like survival, not motion forward.  I got lost many times, sometimes just canoeing in circles.  But by the Father’s help, motion was slowly made.  I felt things in my heart move and shift that had been stuck for so long.  Speaking about these things to Daniel one day, he asked me to write down those places of the heart I had traversed.  I did so…and the landmarks idea was born.

First, it became a large Sunday school class, then it became a constructed journey for small groups of men, then it became a book proposal, and now it has become a blog.  Here I hope to tell you about the shifts in my heart as they happen weekly, how God uses mundane events to raise me up as a man in Christ.  And by reading, maybe you will find clarity for your own journey.

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About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Journey, Landmarks, Walking with God, Wilderness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Finding landmarks in a wilderness

  1. Dmoe says:

    Bill,
    It has been such a fulfilling experience to have you in my life and to journey together, whether in a one on one conversation, in a small group of men, or in the Canadian or Alaskan wilderness. I love you, brother.
    D

    • Coach D says:

      Daniel,
      You have been a significant part of this journey. In fact, I could not have gotten here without your prodding and encouragement. Let’s keep canoeing together!

  2. Janet says:

    I grew up canoeing where you were… many three week trips. God prepared me for now living in a similar place, today keeping the dogs on leash as there is a cougar loose where we hiked. Good seems so much closer in the wilderness, or maybe it is just the absence of all the outside noise?

    • Coach D says:

      Janet,
      I think the absence of noise and the stark beauty seems to clarify God’s voice. All of the cultural static is gone. I actually am thinking about visiting Montana next summer, so I may be somewhat close to where you are.

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